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"Star Dome" HOT NEWS!!! LOOK!

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#26 Richard B. Drumm

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:39 AM

I clicked on the OK, Submit button too quickly. Here is the first of the dome images I sent Dan.
Rich

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  • 649847-Observatory-1.jpg

 

#27 Richard B. Drumm

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:40 AM

And here is the second.
Rich

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  • 649850-Observatory-2.jpg

 

#28 Spoonsize

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:47 AM

We have to be very careful not to design in too many bells and whistles! The more work we can do after we take possession, like adding mounting holes with a drill, and adding hardware will keep the costs lower. From now on, we can figure ANY change will increase the cost.
Steve
 

#29 Richard B. Drumm

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 09:01 AM

True enough, spoonie, let's help Dan follow the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) design standard.
I wonder if it would be possible to have NO wheels on the dome, and use teflon pads instead, like we use on Dobsonian mounts. That might be too much, though...

Here's the URL to the post about the vinyl shed disaster:

http://www.cloudynig...5/o/all/fpart/1

gun4hire was the poster. Not a sight I'd want to see in MY backk yard!
Rich

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  • 649880-Vinyl_Shed_Disaster.jpg

 

#30 rboe

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 09:18 AM

Maybe we should encourage him to sign up on Cloudy Nights. Get some instant feedback for this project.
 

#31 Rick Needham

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 10:38 AM

Here's a real quick drawing I just whipped up. With enough evenly spaced wheel assemblies inside the dome mounted on the top of the walls, ones riding vertically and others riding horizontally, and with a track made into the mold with a shape such as shown on my drawing, would this keep the dome attached in high winds? Comments? Good or indifferent?

Rick

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  • 649994-rollers.JPG

 

#32 Rick Needham

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 10:46 AM

Here is a updated drawing Dan has emailed me with the hatch door changes. He has also added in an approx. weight for the base.

Rick

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  • 650003-new drawing.JPG

 

#33 csa/montana

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 11:12 AM

Rick: I am in the same position; the Dome would be wide-open to high winds here with nothing to block them (except the Dome). Also, since I would plan on leaving my scope in the Dome for maybe weeks at a time, it needs to be exceptionally waterproof. But even so, unless it blows away, what an awesome Dome for an unbelievable price!
 

#34 csa/montana

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 11:36 AM

Rick: what is the height of the lower section? I see the weight is 150#. Thanks for all your work getting this going!
 

#35 Spoonsize

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 11:37 AM

I'd like mine with the 3 inch lip and 6 inch skirt. The attachment method you show might be a good one, as an option. I THINK the idea here is to get a Polydome in the shape of a dome instead of the calf shelter shape and THEN figure a way to mount it. I don't want to be tied to purchasing any one particular mounting method. (my 2 cents)
Steve
 

#36 Ken603a

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 12:31 PM

Post deleted by Ken603a
 

#37 Ken603a

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 12:46 PM

I think for a cheap alternative, it would be easier to put blocks under the lip of the overhang to keep it attached and use some kind of small flat roller bearing between the lip... I wouldnt worry too much about side to side motion but if you wanted to you could do the rollers on the sides too. See picture of my design concept here.

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  • 650135-lip rollers.GIF

 

#38 Spoonsize

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 01:31 PM

I like this. it keeps the mounting rollers separate from the dome, allowing the use of more than one method of mounting.
Steve
 

#39 dgs©

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 04:17 PM

Ken's roller arrangement would be easier to install, and replace later as a maintenance item. Rick's first pass roller arrangement would be difficult to install the inner wheels (that take the vertical load) inside that track. Remember, that track would be a continuous tunnel all the way around, not open on the ends. Though you could have a few holes around the perimeter to insert wheels. :thinking:
Ken's idea could be expanded to include some hold-down rollers adjacent to the side rollers, that would roll on the underside of the wall lip, to prevent wind from lifting the dome off the walls.
Larger diameter wheels will roll easier than smaller roller bearings.

I hope this takes off and becomes a permanent part of their product line. I'd love to have one, but it will be a good while before I have a place to put one.
 

#40 Dubboy

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 04:30 PM

Just found this thread...sounds great!I will e-mail Dan and show him my interest, along with a question or two...THANKS GUYS!!! :waytogo:
Don
 

#41 Ken603a

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 04:51 PM

Okay, bigger rollers, like the kind used in garage doors... might work.

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  • 650439-lip rollers bigger.GIF

 

#42 Ken603a

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 05:01 PM

Another idea... add some kind of foam rubber seal inside, just use double sided tape to stick it to the interior base wall?

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  • 650449-lip rollers bigger.GIF

 

#43 NeoDinian

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 05:48 PM

Love the roller idea to keep the dome from becoming a "UFO"...

The base lip and dome lip would probably need to be reinforced. Possibly makeing it double thick, or just adding blocking under it so you can bolt the rollers on. The dome may be light, but with a lot of use, and the stress of the wind load, the lip may become weakened.

One thing to remember to send to dan is to make sure the "Vertical Lip" on the dome is deep enough to accomodate the modification for the "hold down" rollers... Figure a 3 inch roller on the top, another under the lip mounted to a block on the dome lip... You think 6-8 inches for the dome lip should suffice?
 

#44 Rick Needham

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 06:39 PM

Ken603a, Any way you could post larger pictures of your roller
details?

Rick
 

#45 Rick Needham

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 07:05 PM

As things stand right now, the dome is to have a 3" lip extending out horizontally, and a 6" skirt extending vertically downward from that 3" lip or flange. Question: Will these measurements suffice for housing the buyers choice of a wheel/roller system of their own design for dome rotation? I also tend to agree with NeoDonian that maybe the wall thickness in the lip/skirt areas should be thicker to ensure these areas are not weakened over time due to high wind stress.

I also plan to incorporate some type of rigid "hold down" clamps or metal carriage bolts to securely hold down the dome when not in use. Let's face it. We're not going to be out observing under this dome in moderate, blowing and gusting winds. I know I won't. Light winds yes. So the best thing to do when not using this observatory dome is to securely fasten it down with some strong rigid clamps of some sort. I remember all to well seeing my old lighweight "square dome" of the Rickman Observatory in a twisted, splintered, shattered heap on the ground as the end results of becoming a "UFO" sometime in the night while I was sleeping :scared:. This WILL NOT happen again in my backyard. :noway:
 

#46 Rick Needham

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 07:29 PM

Rick: what is the height of the lower section? I see the weight is 150#. Thanks for all your work getting this going!


csa/montana, I don't see a wall height either on Dan's drawing. But if it is anything close to scale, I would venture a guess of 48", or just slightly taller than the dome height. I myself am not interested in the plastic base. I prefer to construct my own base instead. I can ask Dan in my next email if you wish. The pleasure is mine in helping making this dome a reality. The ASTRO community needs a dome at a "down-to-earth price". We'll soon have one. Maybe the handful of companies out there now that manufacture domes will drop their prices some, as I would hope the 8' Star Dome will steal a good portion of their business.
 

#47 Rick Needham

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:00 PM

Does everyone agree thus far with the 24" shutter opening dimension? I'm good with it. But should the dome underneath this 24" opening be re-enforced on each side with maybe a extra thickness "spar" of polyethylene material to ensure maximum strength for heavy/wet snow loads? I'm thinking maybe not a bad idea to incorporate into this now before the mold is built. Comments?
 

#48 Rick Needham

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:26 PM

I'd like mine with the 3 inch lip and 6 inch skirt. The attachment method you show might be a good one, as an option. I THINK the idea here is to get a Polydome in the shape of a dome instead of the calf shelter shape and THEN figure a way to mount it. I don't want to be tied to purchasing any one particular mounting method. (my 2 cents)
Steve


Understood Steve and agreed. The base lip/skirt ring area needs to be something everyone will be able to work with on their own.
 

#49 Richard B. Drumm

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:40 PM

Ken:
Yeah, you've got it! I'm sure Dan'll appreciate the simplicity of your design, and we all can benefit from the ease of manufacture when our domes cost less (because they cost less to make). I agree that the rollers need to be larger to make them turn more easily. The horizontal wheels on the outside will block the dome from lifting off in a wind, and they can be installed AFTER the dome is placed on the walls (you show the bolts holding it in place in your graphic).

I too saw the 3-sided channel of Rick's design as tricky. I could see that there was no way to get the wheel into the thing. It would also be a tricky thing to manufacture, driving the cost up.

This is coming together nicely. Ken, could you e-mail your design to Dan? He'll appreciate the thought, and will notice the intense interest that the StarDome is attracting.
I want one! I want one! I want one!
Rich
 

#50 NeoDinian

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 09:26 PM

2 foot opening works well I think. It is only an 8 foot dome.. Of course, any bigger, and one might want a larger opening.

Support "Spurs" around the opening would be a great addition for added strength.

As for the lips, I belive the 6" skirt may work... but the lip may need to be slightly larger... All depends on the lip on the base. If the base lip is less than 3 inches, mounting even a Garage door roller would be tough. A 3 inch lip on the base would be fine, but for the dome, it should probably be more like a quarter inch larger.???

As for people using different roller methods, the whole Idea here is being "Cheap" (Or rather "Low Cost"). And with the dome being light-weight, a heavy duty roller/caster assembly would be overkill.

One more thought... On the dome. The "Lip/Skirt"... What about making that "Lip" go both outside, and INSIDE about 3 inches as well? This would accomodate the adding of a motor unit, using that track to run the motor wheel on to turn the dome?... (I need to draw something) Did I loose anyone? :)
 


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